If you have access to the internet, you’ve most likely seen a plethora of impressive Lego projects — such as a life-sized X-Wing composed of five million Lego bricks, or a minimalistic-but-instantly-identifiable model of Stephen Hawking. However, you likely have never seen someone walking around in public using a Lego construction as a limb replacement. Furthermore, you likely have never seen someone build that Lego prosthetic, then attach it to themselves. Christina Stephens has a prosthetic leg, and a coworker in the research lab where she works joked that she probably couldn’t build a prosthetic out of Lego and wear it around. Well, Stephens took it as a challenge, and built her own prosthetic leg out of Lego and wore it around.
The video shows Christina building the actual prosthetic leg out of a box filled with Lego parts, then attaching each layer to her leg. Eventually, she attaches the Lego foot to the new, colorful prosthetic, stands up, and the Lego construction doesn’t immediately crumble like you may have imagined it would.
We’ve learned that a single Lego brick can take a lot of punishment: it takes a Lego tower 2.17 miles high in order to crush one brick. Furthermore, the average Lego brick can be used 31,112 times before it becomes unusable, where “using” means attached to and detached from another brick. So, the weight of a single human likely wouldn’t instantly destroy a well-made prosthetic Lego leg, which is essentially just a small Lego tower that is much shorter than 2.17 miles high.
Stephens does experience problems, however — almost instantly — but they don’t have to do with the integrity of the bricks. The ankle portion of the leg isn’t equipped to handle the stress of walking angles, and the bricks become detached more than once, leaving the foot separate of the leg.
A Lego prosthetic limb isn’t exactly practical, but if given the right Lego pieces, one could conceivably make a limb that is able to bend in the appropriate areas.
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